Recruiting has historically been reactive process, especially for agency recruiters. We act based on requisitions or requests, and struggle to find the right candidates for the open positions as quickly as possible. In the current labor market, there simply aren’t enough qualified candidates to go around. The talent you really want to reach is in high demand and has many companies to choose from. As a result of increased competition for talent, time to fill is increasing across our industry. In order to shift from reactive to proactive, it’s necessary to fall back on recruitment marketing – specifically into nurturing campaigns.
What is Candidate Nurturing in Recruiting & Staffing?
We’ve seen some really smart strategies from staffing companies that are taking a more proactive approach to recruiting and reducing their time to fill with candidate nurturing. Candidate nurturing can mean the difference between a drizzle and a downpour for your talent pipeline. Nurturing has been used by marketers for years, and it’s an excellent way to communicate with and engage passive customers. Translated into recruitment marketing, it’s a tool for your team to communicate with and engage passive candidates.
In staffing, with every single candidate search, your team is going to find top candidates that aren’t hired for one reason or another. Instead of wasting these highly qualified candidates, you can nurture them to keep them engaged for future opportunities. Then, when a new opportunity opens up at your company, you have a pipeline of qualified, interested talent ready to interview.
Where to Apply Candidate Nurturing Strategies
Staffing companies can go beyond a CRM and basic email by building marketing automation and engagement strategies to push qualified candidates into different recruitment marketing funnels. While there are many opportunities for automation in HR technology for talent sourcing, candidate evaluation, candidate engagement, and candidate nurturing, the biggest challenge for agency recruiters is that most CRM and staffing software doesn’t yet offer the functionality that true recruitment marketers need. It might seem daunting, but it is possible to create these automation and engagement strategies outside of your HR software.
For example, a tool like Zapier allows you to connect over 1,000 apps, including Gmail, Basecamp, HubSpot, Evernote, Google Sheets, Typeform, and your HR technology. In just a few minutes, you can set up automations called “Zaps,” and build a great candidate nurturing funnel that provides custom content to candidates based on their clicks and actions. You can even connect calendar events, social media mentions, or new lead details straight into any chat, like Slack conversations.
From screening to on-boarding, recruiters and companies are adopting technologies that streamline the entire human resources workflow. Your current technology may have the capability, but as we mentioned above, these can also be achieved with automation tools that aren’t part of your ATS or HRIS. Here are the areas you’ll want to focus on for testing nurturing strategies:
- Candidate screening. A number of tools that engage candidates either before or after they apply for a role within an organization already exist. Companies can test candidates by having them interact with a chat bot or set up automated email responses to answer common candidate questions about the role while also asking for feedback and information about the candidate. This helps you and your team assess candidates in the quickest and most effective way possible.
- Candidate engagement. Many candidates are still not receiving any type of communication or having any type of interaction with an employer after they apply for a role on a career site or job board. However, many ATSs have built this technology into their software suites and we can personalize automated responses on a level that wasn’t possible 10 years ago. Artificial intelligence for recruitment automates a candidate engagement process that goes beyond standard automated emails or messaging workflows using Hubspot or Marketo-like systems. These messages, responses and engagements can be triggered in real-time and unique to the individual candidate and not just driven by a tags, positions, locations or categories.
- Candidate relationships. Additionally, technology allows your team to nurture candidate relationships. Whether it’s your ATS or CRM, candidate records often go untouched after they apply for the role or after the job requisition is closed. Artificial intelligence allows you to re-engage a very targeted group of candidates to determine their interest level in a position or role, while also using that engagement opportunity to update their candidate record to reflect new positions, work experiences or skills that might have acquired since the last time they were engaged.
- Online events to upskill your talent. Whether it’s online or in person, regular outreach to your most qualified candidates keeps you top of mind. This can be automated messages through many of the above mentioned tools and technologies, however, you should also consider offering opportunities to help your candidates upskill and network. This could be accomplished with a virtual webinar focused on a specific topic that appeals to a large portion of your candidate community. Online events offer recruiting teams a great way to scale your efforts giving you more time to focus on qualifying talent and growing your book of business.
Candidate Trust Takes Time to Build
These types of advanced strategies can be accomplished and scaled effectively. It takes time, planning, and effort, but you can better understand interests and triggers that help you qualify candidates when your talent is ready to look for their next job. My recommendation here is to start small and focus on highly specialized roles that are extremely hard to fill. Work with your marketing team and your recruiters to build a candidate nurturing strategy that puts that recruiter front and center so that when the time is right, they will think of you and your agency first when job hunting.
When recruiters adopt candidate nurturing strategies for building talent pipelines, significant positive changes happen in your staff’s productivity, as well as prospect attrition metrics, and scale of candidate outreach. The benefits of automating tasks in your recruitment marketing strategy include a reduction in your low impact recruiting tasks, while allowing you to focus on recruiting top quality hires that are difficult to attract using standard approaches for hiring.